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A Practical Guide to Linux(R) Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming Paperback – July 11, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0131478237 ISBN-10: 0131478230 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1008 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR; 1 edition (July 11, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0131478230
  • ISBN-13: 978-0131478237
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #862,562 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for the First Edition of A Practical Guide to Linux Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming 

 

“First Sobell taught people how to use Linux…now he teaches you the power of Linux. A must-have book for anyone who wants to take Linux to the next level.”

—Jon “maddog” Hall, Executive Director, Linux International

 

“This book is a very useful tool for anyone who wants to ‘look under the hood’ so to speak, and really start putting the power of Linux to work. What I find particularly frustrating about man pages is that they never include examples. Sobell, on the other hand, outlines very clearly what the command does and then gives several common, easy-tounderstand examples that make it a breeze to start shell programming on one’s own. As with Sobell’s other works, this is simple, straight-forward, and easy to read. It’s a great book and will stay on the shelf at easy arm’s reach for a long time.”

—Ray Bartlett, Travel Writer

 

“Overall I found this book to be quite excellent, and it has earned a spot on the very front of my bookshelf. It covers the real ‘guts’ of Linux—the command line and its utilities—and does so very well. Its strongest points are the outstanding use of examples, and the Command Reference section. Highly recommended for Linux users of all skill levels. Well done to Mark Sobell and Prentice Hall for this outstanding book!”

—Dan Clough, Electronics Engineer and Slackware Linux user

 

“Totally unlike most Linux books, this book avoids discussing everything via GUI and jumps right into making the power of the command line your friend.”

—Bjorn Tipling, Software Engineer, ask.com

 

“This book is the best distro-agnostic, foundational Linux reference I’ve ever seen, out of dozens of Linux-related books I’ve read. Finding this book was a real stroke of luck. If you want to really understand how to get things done at the command line, where the power and flexibility of free UNIX-like OSes really live, this book is among the best tools you’ll find toward that end.”

—Chad Perrin, Writer, TechRepublic

 

Praise for Other Books by Mark G. Sobell

 

“I keep searching for books that collect everything you want to know about a subject in one place, and keep getting disappointed. Usually the books leave out some important topic, while others go too deep in some areas and must skim lightly over the others. A Practical Guide to Red Hat® Linux® is one of those rare books that actually pulls it off. Mark G. Sobell has created a single reference for Red Hat Linux that can’t be beat! This marvelous text (with a 4-CD set of Linux Fedora Core 2 included) is well worth the price. This is as close to an ‘everything you ever needed to know’ book that I’ve seen. It’s just that good and rates 5 out of 5.”

—Ray Lodato, Slashdot contributor

 

“Mark Sobell has written a book as approachable as it is authoritative.”

—Jeffrey Bianchine, Advocate, Author, Journalist

 

“Excellent reference book, well suited for the sysadmin of a Linux cluster, or the owner of a PC contemplating installing a recent stable Linux. Don’t be put off by the daunting heft of the book. Sobell has strived to be as inclusive as possible, in trying to anticipate your system administration needs.”

—Wes Boudville, Inventor

 

A Practical Guide to Red Hat® Linux® is a brilliant book. Thank you Mark Sobell.”

—C. Pozrikidis, University of California at San Diego

 

“This book presents the best overview of the Linux operating system that I have found. . . . [It] should be very helpful and understandable no matter what the reader’s background: traditional UNIX user, new Linux devotee, or even Windows user. Each topic is presented in a clear, complete fashion, and very few assumptions are made about what the reader knows. . . . The book is extremely useful as a reference, as it contains a 70-page glossary of terms and is very well indexed. It is organized in such a way that the reader can focus on simple tasks without having to wade through more advanced topics until they are ready.”

—Cam Marshall, Marshall Information Service LLC, Member of Front Range UNIX Users Group [FRUUG], Boulder, Colorado

 

“Conclusively, this is THE book to get if you are a new Linux user and you just got into the RH/Fedora world. There’s no other book that discusses so many different topics and in such depth.”

—Eugenia Loli-Queru, Editor in Chief, OSNews.com

About the Author

Mark G. Sobell is president of Sobell Associates Inc., a consulting firm that specializes in UNIX/Linux training, support, and custom software development. He is the author of many best-selling UNIX and Linux books and has more than twenty-five years of experience working with UNIX and Linux.




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Customer Reviews

This book is remarkably well written.
Amazon Customer
I recently was fortunate enough to receive a review copy of this book from Prentice Hall publishers, and am happy to submit this review.
Dan Clough
I found the book very helpful for novices as well for experienced linux users.
TLAW_DBA

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

194 of 199 people found the following review helpful By Dan Clough on September 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
I recently was fortunate enough to receive a review copy of this book from Prentice Hall publishers, and am happy to submit this review. I found this very large volume (1008 pages!) to be quite interesting and a valuable source of information for both Linux beginners and veterans alike. As the title may suggest, it covers some of the most commonly used Linux commands, the two main editors (Vim and Emacs), and some shell programming techniques with the Bash and tcsh shells. I found it to be quite "distro-neutral", as the material presented should be available on virtually any Linux system, and does not reference distro-specific tools. The book seems very well organized into Parts and Chapters, and there are also some excellent appendices and additional matter at the end of the book, which I'll discuss later in this review.

Part I is entitled "The Linux Operating System", and starts out with some introductory "welcome" and "getting started" material which is good reading for newbies but can easily be skipped by others. The next chapter in this part covers how to use the more commonly used commands such as ls, cp, rm, and tar. This is followed up by a chapter on the Linux filesystem, including the hierarchical layout, directories, pathnames, permissions, and file links. There is a nice section in this chapter which describes what is found in nearly all of the standard directories such as /boot, /etc, /home, /usr, and so on. Also notable here was an excellent description of how to set (and understand!) file and directory permissions. The final chapter in this part provides an introduction to the shell and command line. It covers standard input/output, redirection, pipes, and backgrounding of commands.
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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Harold McFarland HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on September 17, 2005
Format: Paperback
For some people knowing how to do something through a graphical interface is akin to knowing how to drive without knowing how an engine, transmission, etc. work together to make the car run. For them knowing how to get down to the command line and get things done that either the graphical interface does not allow or does not do the way you want it done is a matter of pride and represents the dividing line between a user and a power user. If you want to become a real Linux guru and know how to work the command line to do whatever you want including commands, editing, shell programming, and scripting this is one of the better books available. Readable, straight-forward, educational, it is a one-of-kind reference that blends the educational aspect of a typical book on learning Linux with a typical book of command line references. A Practical Guide to Linux is highly recommended.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Fred D. Lewis on January 10, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book to be very understandable. I have no experience with Linux but I was writing scripts without any trouble.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Chad Perrin on October 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is the best distro-agnostic foundational Linux reference I've ever seen, out of dozens of Linux-related books I've read. It's a constant battle to find a good Linux book that isn't wedded implicitly or explicitly to a specific distribution (usually something Red Hat related), more about KDE and GNOME applications and other specific applications the authors favor than about real Linux skills, or both. Finding this book was a real stroke of luck. If you want to really understand how to get things done at the command line, where the power and flexibility of free unixlike OSes really live, this book is among the best tools you'll find toward that end. About the only way it could be better is to be released under an open documentation license.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By P. Friesen on November 9, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a newcomer to Unix and Linux operating systems, I just needed a reference so I could be productive enough to perform tasks without relying on others. The book enabled me to do this. I read the other reviews about how the book works for both beginner and advanced users. I borrowed 2 books before buying this one. This one is the only one I use.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jos van Roosmalen on November 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a very nice book for novice unix users.

This book put everything in perspective/context. It starts with a short history of Linux/Unix/GNU and the relation between each other.

It is also a very complete book. It covers the main commands, editors, shell programming, et. cetera.

The nice thing (especially for novice people), is that there are a lot of examples with a description what it does. The examples are very usable. Because a lot of examples use multiple commands this book can also been seen as a cookbook how you can do certain task using e.g. the command line interface.

So this book is not one big printed man pages (a lot of other books are).

One little disadvantage is that this book need some updating. E.g. CVS is covered but the emerging Subversion not. Maybe it is a good idea to cover also subversion in the next edition.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Keerthi Panneerselvam on July 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
If you are a beginner/intermediate linux user in need of tutorial style treatment of commands, editors and shell programming then look no further. The author has done an excellent job presenting the chapters, from the basics to more advanced, gradually building on the concepts learned, in a simple, easy-to-read text. This book shines in explaining the commands with relevant examples and differs from the others in not being a printed man pages. The author also details the subtleties of shell (bash and tc) and shell commands where appropriate. The chapters on sed and gawk are invaluable, so are the chapters on vim and emacs. This book also doubles as an excellent command reference - Part 5 of the book is dedicated to this.

This book neither teaches you nor is intended to teach the nuances of mounting/unmounting devices, loading modules, managing disks and partitions, runlevels, boot sequences and boot loaders, networking, user administration and such. Linux administrator handbook by Evi Nemeth et al and How Linux Works by Brian Ward fills this gap nicely.

The verdict:

Reads so well cover to cover. Highly recommended for beginners.
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